Throwback Thursday: Grant Hill – A Journey and a Half
The Los Angeles Clippers have been the surprise story of the 2012 – 2013 NBA season while proving themselves to be worthy of championship contention. Much of their mid-success has been attributed to their solid group of bench players, affectionately referred to as A Tribe Called Bench. At the end tail end of this Tribe you’ll find 40-year old Grant Hill. A true testament to hard work and perseverance, Hill is expected to suit up for the Clippers this coming Saturday against the Orlando Magic for the first time this season. What a journey it’s been for the 19 year veteran.
A standout at Duke, Hill turned collegiate immortality into NBA success by co-winning the Rookie of the Year award with Jason Kidd. Not only that, he led the league in All Star ballot votes; an honor he would repeat the following year over Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal among others. The NBA’s newest star seemed destined for greatness after striking gold at the 1996 Olympics but a series of career changing injuries would plague Hill and go onto define a large chunk of his career. However, when healthy, he’s proved to be as valuable as they come, playing a strong role on the Pistons, Magic and Suns. Off the court, Hill has proved himself to be even more valuable through his charity work and commitment to improving child literacy.
No matter what cynics may say about what could have been or should have been for Hill, one thing is certain: Few men could handle what Hill has or survive the journey he’s been on. On Saturday, Hill will continue doing what he does best by playing the game he loves at the highest level he can; another notch on a seemingly endless journey.